First Presbyterian Church Wetumpka Alabama
Founded 1836. Built, 1856, dedicated 1857, combining exterior Gothic style with Greek Revival interior. Original part designed as a rectangular block. Wings were added on eastern and western sides in the middle 1900's. At that time a choir rail replaced original balustraded corner section. The balcony and chandeliers are outstanding. The church has served its members continuously and has been used for civic and patriotic assemblies significant in Wetumpka's history. In 1861 it served as a departure point for the Wetumpka Light Guard upon enlistment in the Confederate Army.
Entered in National Register, Historic Places 1976.
[Elmore Road (Hwy 212) at E. Bridge Street, Wetumpka. 32.53932 N 86.20887 W
The Hank Williams / Kowaliga Cabin 1952
At this site stands the cabin where country music legend Hank Williams composed the song "Kaw-liga" in August, 1952. The song's title was derived from the name of a Creek Indian town located on the banks of the Kowaliga Creek until 1836.
Hank's September 23, 1952 recording of "Kaw-liga" reached number one on the country music charts in 1953 and has since been recorded by numerous country and popular music artists.
Built in 1946 by Darwin and Nell Dobbs, the cabin was restored to its original condition in 2001 by Russell Lands, Inc. as a tribute to Hank Williams and his music.
[2002: 10178 Kowaliga Road, (Hwy 63) near Lake Martin in N.E. Elmore Co. 32.73701 N 85.96825 W ]
Only Confederate armory not destroyed by Federal forces. Colonel Gorgas (Conf. Flag) ordnance chief, had carbine shop moved here into Tallassee Manufacturing Company mill in spring 1864 as war threatened Richmond, Virginia armory. War ended before plant neared goal of 6,000 carbines per year. In 1864 Rousseau's raid bypassed it-1865: forces under General Wilson (U.S. Flag) misled by faulty map, marched 10 miles east; threat of Forrest (Conf. Flag) barred their return.
[Before 1965: Barnett Blvd at E.B. Payne Drive near river on Hwy 14, Tallassee 35.53501 N 65.89107 W ]
Tallassee Confederate Officers Quarters
In the Spring of 1864, the Confederate States of America (CSA) moved the Confederate Armory in Richmond, VA to Tallassee, AL, necessitating new housing for the officers and staff. With the help of the Tallassee Falls Mfg. Company, four houses were built on King Street, at 301, 303, 305, and 307.
The Confederate Armory closed in April 1865 at the end of the Civil War and the Tallassee Falls Mfg. Co. gained possession of the houses. The house at 303 King was demolished when the Bank of Tallassee was built. The other three remain.
After the Civil War, Brigadier-General (CSA) Birkett Davenport Fry (1822-1891) returned to Tallassee to live at 301 King Street until 1880, in his capacity as secretary for the Tallassee Mfg. Co., the successor to the Tallassee Falls Mfg. Co. From 1880 until 1966 it was the residence for the managers of the Tallassee Mills Company Stores. Samuel Hugh Scott (1867-1942) lived there from 1900-1942; Belser Ray Carr (1895-1966) followed from 1942-1966. In 2005, it became the office for The Segrest Law Firm.
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Brigadier General Birkett Davenport Fry, CSA
In his lifetime, General Birkett D. Fry was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute and West Point; 1st Lt. (U.S. Infantry) in Mexican War; lawyer in California; mercenary-soldier of fortune in Latin America; colonel (adjutant) of the 13th Alabama (CSA) Infantry Regiment in the Civil War when he was wounded in four different battles including Gettysburg, taken prisoner of war, then promoted to Brigadier General (May 1864); engaged in the tobacco business in Cuba; executive in the Tallassee Textile Mills; public school superintendent in Montgomery, AL; and president of the Richmond, VA Cotton Mill until his death. His body was returned to Montgomery where he was buried next to his wife in Oakwood Cemetery.
Fry was born in Kanawha County, WV (24 June 1822) and died in Richmond, VA (21 January 1891). The son of Thornton Fry (1786-1823) and Eliza R. Thompson (1794-1885), he was married to Martha Augusta Micou (1823-1878), the sister of Benjamin Hall Micou (1825-1887) who was president of the Tallassee Manufacturing Company beginning in 1871.
[2014: 301 King St., Tallassee]
First county in Alabama. Northern boundary 32° 28', ran through this point. County extended south to 31°, present Florida line; from Jackson, Miss., to Columbus, Ga. Then in Mississippi Territory, it included 25,000 square miles. Since subdivided into counties; 29 in Alabama, 16 in Mississippi.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 231 between Wetumpka and Tallapoosa River]
In 1834, the Wetumpka Toll Bridge Co. built the first of four bridges spanning the Coosa River at this site. It was destroyed in a flood in 1844. A second toll bridge was completed the same year by John Godwin whose slave, Horace King, designed and supervised construction of this covered bridge. Emancipated in 1846, King built numerous bridges in the South and his services were much in demand by the CSA during the Civil War. After the war, he was elected to the state legislature twice by the citizens of Russell Co.
Toll charges for the new bridge were 5¢ for pedestrians or $1 per month for unlimited passage. Passage to church was free. Since the wagon gate closed at 9 PM, an extra charge of 25¢ was due the gatekeeper if he was called to open the gate.
Three lighted lanterns hanging from the rafters were the last things seen of the bridge as it washed away in the flood of March 1886. A ferry operated while an iron bridge was built by the Southern Bridge Co. of Birmingham in 1887. By 1927, bridge deterioration led to a joint $177,440 state-county project resulting in the construction of the fourth bridge in 1931. Denmark-native Edward Houk designed the graceful Bibb Graves Bridge, named for then-Governor Graves. The bridge became the picturesque centerpiece for the "City of Natural Beauty."
[2003: Elmore Road (Hwy 212) at E. Bridge Street, Wetumpka 32.53916 N 86.20851 W ]
Wetumpka Impact Crater
The ridges located here are the remnants of a six-mile diameter circular feature created some 85 million years ago by an estimated 1,000-foot diameter asteroid. The area at the time of impact was a shallow sea. The ridges consist of a variety of metamorphic rocks and surround a central area comprised of large jumbled blocks of younger geologic strata. Drilling in the central area of the crater recovered fragments of rocks showing characteristic mineral alteration only associated with impact structures. The structure, although known for more than a century, was first identified as an impact crater in the 1970s.
[2002: 6501 US Hwy 231, Wetumpka 32.53414 N 86.20365 W]
Wetumpka Methodist Church
Organized 1837. Completed in 1854, this building was the third Methodist Church building erected in Wetumpka and served both black and white congregations. Transitional exterior and interior architecture features elegant simplicity of Greek revival styles. Interior plaster work is outstanding. Original nave provided space for 500 persons. Renovation in 1910 included more space for choir loft, installation of pipe organ, stained glass windows and pews to follow curve of chancel rail. In 1954 chandeliers were added and basement remodeled for Sunday School rooms. Chancel area enlarged again in 1972. Listed in National Register of Historic Landmarks 1972.
[W. Tuskeena Street at N. Broad Street 32.54046 N 86.21142 W ]
William Wyatt Bibb 1781-1820
First Governor of Alabama -- buried 2 mi. east -- Only governor of Alabama Territory 1817-1819. First Governor of state 1819-1820. Died in office after riding accident. Succeeded by brother, Thomas.
[1954: Intersection of AL 143 (Main Street) and CR 23 (Coosada Road) 32.47985 N 86.36190 W ]
William Wyatt Bibb
First Governor of Alabama 1819-1820 -- grave 300 yards -- Only governor of Alabama Territory 1817-1819. Born in Amelia County, Va., Oct. 2, 1781. In U.S. Congress from Georgia 1805-1813. Moved here from Elbert County, Ga., 1817. Buried in private cemetery near home. Succeeded by brother, Thomas Bibb, presiding officer of state senate.
[1954: 5553 Coosada Road (CR 23) at Auburn Road in Coosada 32.49878 N 86.33786 W ]